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Spring is blooming everywhere here and it made me think of all the different ways flowers have influenced my life and what they mean, the meanings they hold for me. Kinda silly maybe, but in these harried couple of weeks I have been lacking in inspiration, but all the flowers going crazy around here sure have been inspiring.

Iris are one of my favorites. They always seem so lacy, so delicate, like if you breathe on them they will melt down and be destroyed. It’s too early for them yet, but on my walks I’ve seen one or two intrepid purple ones, forceful in their blooms as if defying the time when they’re “supposed” to be around. The daffodils are crinkling up, dying, the tulips right now are at their height, and here is one iris, tiny, as purple as a queen’s gown, and in the sea of tulips it truly stands out.

My Nana loved tulips – her garden was full of them. They ran all along the left side of her house, purple and white. Large, delicate, frail like lace, but strong and vibrant for the few weeks they bloom. She had a print of Van Gogh’s “Irises” on her living room wall for years and years. I always loved that painting.

When my cousin Jenny was in the hospital for some serious surgery I remember Aunt Judy feeling extra comfort when she discovered the same print hanging right outside Jenny’s hospital room. Nana had died a few years before, but it was like she was sending a message to us that everything would be okay.

Irises will defintely become a part of my new garden – hubby and I just cleared a huge amount of overgrown vegetation from our front yard, and more than anything I want to create a garden of flowers that remind me of things, of beloved relatives, of places, of smells, of wonderful memories I’ve gathered in my life. I don’t ever want to plant something because it “looks right there”. I want to be able to walk up my front stairs and be constantly reminded of where I’ve been and where I’m going. Maybe I’m overthinking this. But I still love and miss Nana’s irises.

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